Reinventing New Year’s Eve with college football playoffs

I’ve got to say, I’m excited that the Sooners of the University of Oklahoma, one of my alma maters, is in the college football playoffs tonight.  I had given up on them after they lost to Texas, but here they are, playing the undefeated Clemson for a shot at the national championship.  For everything you want to know about the playoffs and much more than you  want to know, go here.  (Give your picks in the comments.)

The bigger story, though, is ESPN’s attempt to take over the way Americans celebrate New Year’s Eve.  Instead of going to parties, staying up until midnight, and watching the ball drop at Times Square, watch college football! [Read more…]

Stephen Colbert, God, and suffering

Stephen Colbert, who took over for David Letterman on The Late Show last week, is an iconoclastic comedian.  But he is also a devout Catholic.  When he was 10 years old, he lost his father and two brothers in a plane crash.  He talks about his faith and how he handled that tragedy–also J. R. R. Tolkien and how gratitude points to God– in an interview with GQ Magazine, excerpted after the jump. [Read more…]

Sesame Street and the free market

Sesame Street has signed a deal with HBO that will allow the popular children’s show to double the number of original episodes that it will produce next year.  Those shows will be shown free on Public Television nine months later.

In the meantime, we can see the difference in how a free market supplies a public good as opposed to government financing. [Read more…]

ABC’s predictions for June, 2015

We often make predictions here at the Cranach blog, but we also do what often does not happen elsewhere:  we check them.  So it’s fitting to consider the predictions of some ABC programming seven years ago, projecting what June, 2015 would be like.  Gas was supposed to be over $9 a gallon.  Milk cost $13.  And New York City would be underwater.  Among other things.

See one of the videos and read an account of the predictions after the jump. [Read more…]

Slow TV

Americans are taking advantage of streaming and on-demand-video to indulge in “binge TV,” watching a series’ entire season in a few sittings.  Norwegians, though, are watching television in a completely different way.  They are watching real-time renditions of train rides and ocean voyages.  Or twelve hours of knitting.  They are calling it “slow TV,” and it’s coming to America.  Do you see the attraction? [Read more…]

Paying tribute to “The Simpsons” co-creator

Sam Simon, one of the original creators of “The Simpsons,” died at age 59 of colon cancer.  To pay tribute, what are some of your favorite “Simpsons” bits? [Read more…]